Harold Brodkey and Adoption

Drawing of Harold Brodkey by Howard Coale for The New Yorker, 1995



Also known as Aaron Weintraub

American novelist and short-story writer

Brodkey was born Aaron Weintraub. His mother died when he was two years old and he was adopted by his father's cousin's family, but his new parents also soon died. He was sexually abused by his adoptive father. He continued to have contact with his father, but after his mother died he did not speak for 2 ½ years. He became HIV+ during a period when he was actively homosexual, but was also married and had a family. He died of AIDS.


Who's Who in America, 1996 Brodkey, Harold. "To My Readers," Independent on Sunday Magazine [London], 27 June 1993, pp. 34-35 (first published in the New Yorker, 1993) Brodkey, Harold. This Wild Darkness: The Story of My Death. (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1996) Pyle, Richard. "Harold Brodkey Dies at 65; Novelist, New Yorker Writer." Available at: